Nicholas Carr – “Is Google Making Us Stupid”

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Nicholas Carr – “Is Google Making Us Stupid” essay
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In the article, “Is Google Making Us Stupid”, the main point the author, Nicholas Carr is trying to make is that as the internet becomes our primary source of information, it begins to affect our ability to read books and other long pieces. Even though this process may offer knowledge efficiency, it flattens our brain’s learning experience in the process. The first thing Carr does is share a problem with the audience about how he can’t focus on reading.

Carr goes on to give a very well researched account of how text on the internet is supposed to make the browsing experience fast and profitable. He describes how the internet is set up to make other people money and how our critical thinking skills and attention spans are degrading in the process. He wraps up his argument by describing what we are losing in the shift toward using the internet as our main information source. He talks about the new idea of considering the mind as a computer feels bad for the loss of deep reading and the intellectual stimulation it provides for our brains. Lastly, he quotes the 2001: A Space Odyssey scene he used to open the article. He identifies with the computer in the scene rather than the robotic human and seems to suggest that internet is going to cause us to become more machine-like than machines themselves.

In this article I see some rhetorical strategies used. For ethos, he tells us he’s not the only one with the problem of not being able to focus on reading. His friends and colleagues he claims are the “literary types”, also struggle with this and so do some impressive bloggers. Then he says that that’s not enough to really prove anything, so he uses rhetorical technique, logos. He cites a few studies of internet behavior, giving them as evidence that there is something to the idea that internet use might be changing the way we think and leaving the audience to come to the logical conclusion that he may have a point. I think all of his strategies are effective because he hits on many great points, using stats and credible sources. He appeals to emotion saying how we are going to be more machine-like than machines themselves, making me really think about the future of human knowledge.

Nicholas Carr – “Is Google Making Us Stupid” essay

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